Saturday, July 12, 2008


Everyone always says (how do you like that for overgeneralization?) that Ryan is such a wonderful boy and that he is so sweet that they simply cannot comprehend why I say such awful things about him.

It's true.

They say that.

And I do say awful things about my boy. I do. I say he's evil. I say he's difficult. I say he's traumatized me. I say he's scared me into not having any more kids (for now). Why, I may have even said all or some of those very things on this very blog. I feel like I am always bitching and moaning about raising my son, Ryan.

Aren't there any praises and good things to say about him? (Aside from what everyone else thinks?) Of course there are! I mean, he's ... bubbly and... funny and ... (looking off into nothingness trying to find words here)... we'll he's just a fun kid! I'm sure he is!


Yes, it's true that he's bitten and torn two holes in the couch upholstery, then ripped a massive, human-2-year-old-male-child sized hole in the slip cover for the self same couch. It's true that he's written on every - and i mean EVERY - wall in our (read with a grimace: rented) house. Yes, of course he's broken countless random objects. (What two year old child hasn't!) And yes, he hits and pushes everyone. EVERYONE. Oh, and let's not forget that he throws everything lighter than himself (so what's that? 35 lbs or less, maybe) anywhere and everywhere in the house. Even if you catch him about to do it and you say: RYAN. RYANNNN. RYAN!! DO! NOT! TH... and throws and breaks it anyway. Then you swear under, sometimes over your breath as you clean up the bloody mess...

So what? (Right?)

I mean, the constant whining from dawn till dusk shouldn't bother me. Him having a minor (or major) coronary whenever his fork falls or food spills on him, or his sandwich tears or his shoes won't go on right, or I forget to let HIM put the key in the door (a 30 minute exercise) and turn the key (another 10 minutes) to get out of the house when mommy's rushing somewhere, or if I take away a sharp pointy object (knives, poles, metal rulers etc.) that will no doubt puncture external and internal organs in the blink of an eye, or anything really. All that should just ROLL right off my back, right?

Thankfully, I've stopped worrying that the only foods he eats are:

eggs (sometimes)
cheese (sticks, preferably)
peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
certain granola bars
very watered down orange or cranberry juice
shotlit milk (soy, rice or almond usually)
and the odd banana or canteloupe chunks here and there
and, of course, fries

That's it. I'm not kidding. And quite frankly, the top winners in terms of frequency and regularity are PBJ and OJ (water) and Shotlit Milk. So what if he doesn't eat chicken or vegetables?! Big deal!

Nope. I'm not worried about that!

You know what's funny? As crazy and tazmanian-devil/tornado like this boy is, he is still very much a baby who needs me more than I realise. It's not that he's not independent in his own way, but he's not like his sister who - in retrospect - seems to have grown up a bit faster. No. He needs to run and play a lot but he also needs me to be there for him just as much, if not more.

This is what I am realising. And I suspect, that's been my struggle all along: sub- or unconsciously thinking he doesn't need me as much anymore and getting upset and resentful when he did. An very, very unfortunate (what? mindset? oversight?) thing that has been unfair to us both.

So I'm re-calibrating. Tuning up the Mommy Hold Me buttons and easing off the - if i can be brutally honest here - Leave-Me-Alone/ Don't-Need-Me-So-Much-Please! knobs.

I've needed to process this for a while. Thanks for listening and not judging. Thanks for accepting a flawed, but deeply loving nonetheless Mother.

Monday, May 19, 2008

4:57, 5/19

i am so exhausted.

i feel like i've been in some sort of twilight zone boot camp for five years. they torture you by waking you up several times a night. they make you do things and say things over and over again for no apparent reason (it never changes anything). you have to have a masters in conflict resolution. you have to have some kind of certification in food and nutrition. oh hell, all kinds of things. so

let me make the list:

psychological warfare
first aid
peer counseling
digestive health (bowel movement analysis; frequency and texture)
terrorist negotiation tactics
getting kids to eat
getting kids to eat green things
sleep clinic assesment technologies (as in how TF do i get this child to sleep through the night?!)
educational institution evaluation techniques for the 21st century and beyond
home repair
stain removal
how to cover up a mysterious bald spot and/or sudden hair loss due to sharp objects

and, oh so many more!

how do people do this? i only have two children in residence and i feel very much like i remember having a mind at one time, but i seem to have misplaced it during the night.

the whining (my FAAAAvorite!), the tantrums (wait, maybe that's my favorite), the hitting, the biting, the grabbing, the jumping on my person (that's ME), the incessant need for juice-not-water... these are a few of my favorite things! when the dog bites, when the bee stings, when i'm feeling saaaad. i simply fav... (record scratching) wait a hot minute! nix the sound of music soundtrack. julie andrews the nun i sho ain't!

good grief. i'm whining and tantruming here. well, i guess it is my turn. plus, i'm not piercing ear drums or embarrassing anyone.

i'm tired. so. very.


and so much more!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Guilt Is A Carnivore

and it's eating me alive.

damn you guilt. why don't you develop a starvation based eating disorder?

or stay with the catholics where you usually lurk?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Ology

Mostly for my own benefit I need to write out the general meandering path that is my theology at the moment. That is to say, I think I need to clarify my "belief system". (Hmm... maybe i should go to Belief Net and do their belief-o-meter test one more time...)

Anyway, I'm not sure how I'll go about this. Should I list the things that I do believe and/or the things that I don't believe? Why don't i just start. (I mean, there's always editing for crying out loud!)

Let's start with Jesus, since, for all intents and purposes, that is where it started for me (and so many others).

I believe Jesus. (Notice i didn't say "*in* Jesus".) I will not try to argue with or dispute his teachings. For me, they are true true true true true. I mean TRUE!! Was he God? I'm pleading the 5th on that one (meaning - I am not sure). Was he the actualization of a Universal God Potential? I really think so. What do I mean by that? Simply that how Jesus lived (and died) was the ultimate incarnation of Love. (aka "God").

I do not, however, subscribe to Christian doctrine or theology. I don't believe that "the only way to get to heaven is through the blood of Jesus" (may i even risk being offensive and say: HELL no, i don't believe that!!). I don't even really believe that everyone lives, dies and goes to heaven or hell. Do I even really believe in this other-worldly, sky bound destination we call heaven? Not really. Hell? Definitely not. I do believe that we can live in "Heaven" (closeness to God/Spirit/Love) or "hell" (self imposed distance from God/Spirit/Love) right here on Earth.

Which brings me to reincarnation.

I believe in reincarnation. I believe in the evolution of the Spirit and I believe in the evolution of the human species. What I mean by that is that I believe that over the centuries and millenia of human existence, we have been evolving more and more into the image of God. (hang on a second. I got some circular logic racing around my head...) Okay, no. What I think I really mean is that we are born perfect and whole. We are born without fear and judgement (and all the other undesirables that come along with those two mafia bosses of the shadow side.). We are born in Perfect Love, trusting and loving without wanting anything in return. And then as time goes on we learn fear and separation. And our perfect self (our true self) gets buried under a whole lot of shizer (hurt, betrayal, abuse, neglect etc.) I believe that we come back to the Earth again and again (and again) to learn a multitude of lessons to further the evolution of (our) Spirit which never dies.

So I definitely DO NOT buy the story that we are born in sin! (bucket please!) I don't. I just. Don't.

Still, I do think there is a fundamental "flaw" with humanity. I see us evolving out of that, though (by means of reincarnation). Not in like the next 10 years or anything. But we're on the path, I believe.

At the risk of clanging the same old cliche´bell, I really think the problem with fundamentalism in any religious order is that it breeds fear and judgement (same two thugs) which create disharmony. (A la Inquisition, Jihad, Hitler, The Bush Administration... the list goes on.) Once a person (or group of people) believes that they have all the answers and that their way is the only right way that there is.. well, we are in for - to put it mildly - a little trouble. Then it's about who is in and who is out. Who's right and who's wrong. Blah blah blah... (Umm excuse me? I'm not interested, please. Thank you.)

But pick a path we must. So I am choosing Love. Pure and simple.

I am learning (and damn it's a slow fricking process) to love my whole self. I am learning not to judge the parts of me that I don't really relish (oh my God, could i BE anymore forgetful??? or hey, how about that why-do-you-always-want-to-be-right?-ness). If I can stop judging the self within my skin, then I can stop judging the self outside my skin.

Yes, I am alluding to my belief that we are all ONE. OH. EN. EE. ONE. I believe that every single living being is suffused with, immersed in, cannot be removed from The Spirit. (According to quantum physicists: The Unified Field.) I believe that our entire universe is within Spirit's Self and we, therefore, are one with that Spirit and each other.

Think of it this way: If every living thing had a silver chord attaching it to every other living thing, it would mean that one could not act without affecting the other somehow, right?. (One.) It would mean that everything that breathes (is connected) is interdependent, right?. (One.) It would mean that even as the very Earth has been shown scientifically to breathe, it is the Breath of Spirit that unites us all. (One One One!)

I may think that the *$!@&% horrible-name-calling-here who treats his/her kids like shit is separate from me and then judge them for it, but the truth is

i am not

and i have no right to judge because i don't know his/her story and s/he is me and i am her/him.

Everybody knows by now that everything that eventually ends up on a trash heap is as worthless the day you buy it as the day it ends up at it's inevitable final destination and therefore is completely inconsequential. ('djou get that?) After all, wouldn't you quickly give it all up twice over or more to have a loved one survive tragedy? What good is all the money in the world if it cannot undo what has broken you? The only thing that is true, the only thing that is real and that survives is Love. (Truth, Kindness, Trust, Forgiveness, Wholeness...)

So I basically subscribe to any teaching that falls into the category of Love and Truth. All Truth, all Love, all Light is Spirit's.

I believe that Love doesn't do exclusive. Love won't force, but Love won't leave. It cannot. We cannot be separated from it. No matter what.

We have the choice, however, to actualize Love in every moment or not. Simply by being fully present, fully alive, fully aware; living in Love we have to potential to "do greater things" than Jesus. I really believe that. And I guess that summarizes what I believe.

No judgement. Only all acceptance in Love.



Today is the last day that I will nurse Ryan. I made the decision to wean him. Today is the 22nd and he is 31 months old today. Hey may not be ready, but I am. And then again, I'm not.

This is so much more complicated - emotionally speaking - than anyone who has never practiced extended nursing (beyond the first few months) would be able to understand.

Why don't I feel overjoyed at the thought of FINALLY having my body back to myself?



Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Number 2 News

Ryan M. A. Sawyer, also known as "Baby Ryan" is redefining one of western society's most beloved phrases.

Starting with a party in January, 2008 and continuing through the next four to five parties at a variety of venues, Ryan has felt the need to eliminate into his pull-ups at every single event.

It has even gotten to the point where Ryan's weary parents are ensuring that they pack sufficient changing paraphernalia whenever they are taking young Ryan to the festivities the family gets invited to.

At one point while changing him in yet another far removed - usually unaccessible to guests - area of someone else's home, Ryan's mother exclaimed in exasperation: "Why do you always poop at parties?!!" She followed her own rhetorical question with the answer that she needed to provide enough comic relief for this and many other moments to come:

"What are you, a (can you guess what's coming?) ...

Party Pooper?!"

And there you have it, Ryan Sawyer has redefined (or was that the original meaning?) the term we have all *previously* used to describe the would-be goofball who ruins the party.

Thanks Ryan! When it comes to parties, you're our number 2 man!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Joy Reaper

I have been so so so consumed lately that I have neglected my writing to the point where it seems to be a brownish, mostly dead plant all forlorn in the corner. For this, I am sorry.

But DAMN!! Working full time is ... (how can I say this without swearing?) .. well it's bloody frickin HARD that's what! Man alive. I am almost ready to hunt down a big enough piece of cardboard upon which to paint a sign that reads: "WIll work for silent, alone time." Seriously. (sort of.)

Anyway, as usual, I digress. I am here to talk about the joys not the oh-my-god-how-does-anybody-surVIVE-this?! parts of parenting.

So back to the whole Farming analogy. I just harvested some boat loads of deelicious bounty!!! (It occurs to me as I think my next sentences through that there is a strong possibility that it's modernity and technology that makes parenting so hard. More on that later...)

This past 4-Day Easter weekend was AH. MAY... (wait for it... )


Okay so I still had to tell Ryan like seven thousand times not to touch the "Kill Fuel" thingie which comes just shy of having it's own red light district, yank me please i'm BEGGING you!!! signs all around it. And he DID fall down the "stadder" (perilously steep ladder like stairs) and he did crap on the floor in our cabin and wipe it all over the floor and he DID successfully fall over about 10 times his usual average but he had a lot - and I mean A LOT of fun. And so did Lauryn, and so did Nathan and, yes folks, so did I!

It could have something to do with the fact that we were on a boat anchored just off an tiny island that -for all intents and purposes- was our OWN private paradise for THREE days!!!

When kids can just do whatever the hell they want in the middle of nowhere with no concern in the world - that, my friends - is heaven. Not just for them. Oh no. For us too.

It was brilliant! I was so deeply truly madly in love with Lauryn I almost couln't take it. Ryan was, as usual, his embodiment of enthusiasm, zip, zeal and exuberance. But without the constraints of the Risk Factor. That is, nothing to break or be broken by. (Except for those few impediments on the boat that were briefly mentioned earlier, but it really wasn't as bad as the author made it sound.) And I was able to enjoy him for who he really is. And, come to think if it, so was everyone else.

I am so so so thankful for all the wonderful moments that made that weekend like a beautiful quilt. I feel so... well, squishy and pleased when I think of Lauryn remembering this with great fondness. These truly are the times when I get it. I get the point of the drudgery, of the mundane, of the everyday. That somehow even that is still reaping yet sowing all at once. And every so often, you get to step back and really see the sheer beauty of your life.

You get the message that these moments, like Easter eggs, are tucked in somewhat plain sight just waiting for us to notice them and put them into our little baskets we've been given.

So, yes, I may be distracted by the tears and the fights. By the seemingly endless needs and wants. Sadly and hardest to admit: sometimes I am distracted by worry about the things that I (think I) need and don't have. Yet - I see now - there is so much here already!

And therefore I stand and take a deep bow of gratitude to Life, to Love for so cleverly weaving itself into every facet of being, and then waiting so patiently to be discovered.

... Eureka!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Did somebody call?

Through a serious of un/fortunate events i have found myself exactly where i am right now. That is to say that I feel that my path/destiny/calling/vocation (any word here) has been and continues to be revealed to me. This is good. And hard. I believe I am on a journey that will cost me a great deal of tangibles in exchange for countless rewards of the intangible nature. For whatever reason, I have either chosen or been given this calling and it feels a bit strange.

It's hard to talk about without feeling like anyone listening is secretly rolling their eyes about me with anyone who makes eye contact with them simultaneously saying without saying "boy is she full of it!". Blah blah blah me me me. Come off it cian. Whatever. (All this hype and preamble, I am sure, isn't helping any so I'll get on with it already.)

No I'm not talking about being a mom, although we (mums) all know that to really mother means to trade a shit load of the tangibles for at least the 10th power amount of intangibles. Investing in the future, all that.

I feel like a strong passion about Education. Anybody who knows me well enough to know anything about me (that is, you have to have spent at least 30 minutes with me) knows that i really really really don't like what's happening in schools today. I firmly believe that the current methods of 'learnin our young'uns' is failing miserably. And hell, if you feel that way about something - guess what (Moses)? You'd better damn well get off your keester and DO SOMETHING for crying out loud! So that's what I"m doing: something.

I have a clear vision (mostly) about how my school will look. I mean the buildings (green, of course! (not the color, dufus)), the window placements (unless my learned architect says no way that's dumb), the property size, the class sizes, the children, the ... everything!

No frickin pigeon holing. No cramming heads with useless shit. No forcing kids to pretend to be mini CEO's sitting through ridiculously BO-RING meeting (read: class), after meeting, after meeting. No diagnosing every 2nd kid with AD-anything. No crap food. No pinning kids' personalities down under thumbs. NO. NO. NO.

Yes to teaching autonomy. Yes to engaging on every level. Yes to nurturing Mind Body and Spirit (No to religion!). Yes to artistic expression. Yes to creativity. Yes to finding your own way. Yes to excelling at what you like best! Yes to learning how to care for our environment. Yes to learning self respect. Yes to meditation and silent time. Yes to field trips galore! Yes to experimenting. Yes to failing and trying again. Yes to being WHO YOU ARE not who somebody else thinks you should be.

I've been praying again. And getting answers. (Thank you, Spencer Burke, thank you Brian McLaren, thank you Marianne Williamson, thank you Elizabeth Gilbert, thank you to Kristine Graham, Brandon Bays and The Journey) AND, I've been getting answers!!!. All of these people and more have facilitated my journey (no pun) out of the darkness of doubt and despair into the light of the truth of who we really are; who I really am.

Hamsa. I am That (which is divine)

And this knowledge, this Grace, this faith in the Love that dwells within me (and all of humanity - especially our children) is what propels me on to answer the call. So I stand at the bottom of a gigantic mountain, somewhat terrified about my climb to the top, but focusing on the step I need to make now.

Friday, January 18, 2008


i just re-read my post below and realized i managed to make myself sound like i magically morphed into the perfect parent over-paragraph. (NAAAAT!!!)

just this morning is yelled out the door "JESUS H. CHRIST LAURYN! GET INSIDE NOW!!!

i felt i needed to clarify that. and also to confess that i've moved from calling ryan "baby jesus" to calling him "baby pontious pilate". not good.

holy mary, buddah, allah, jah, jehovah, yeshua - everybody! - pray for me now and at the hour of my yelling. amen.

Parenting Is ... (i've got it all figured out, donchayknow?)

my close friend and co-mother deborah and i were talking about the uphill struggle(s) of parenting small children. and we asked questions that were mostly rhetorical but actually stumbled on some helpful answers that came to us from whom i will call our "spirit guides".

she asked "why does anyone actually have children?" and the answer that came to me even as i spoke the words in response was this: (now you have to imagine the clouds parting and god-light rays shining down upon us as we stood, somewhat forlorn and tired in the doorway talking)

it is the most tangible way to change the world.

(and cut!) the angels stopped their otherworldly chorus.

okay so it's not the most brilliant bloody answer in the world, but it helped a little.

the second question was how much of the actual mechanics of parenting was meant to be enjoyable. you know: the ridiculous before-god wake ups, the packing of lunch (picture any mom standing in front of the fridge/cupboard trying to figure out what to put in the box TODAY), the night waking, the tantrums, the baths and unpredictable dinner service (will he eat THIS no? okay. yogurt?), the whole nine yards. how much of that does the average mom enjoy?

well, let me be francesca: not that much.

i like the parts where there are kisses and hugs, laughter and fun, adventures and funny quotes. i like the bonding of nursing my children. i like watching them discover. i sometimes like baking and/or cooking with Lauryn (when i'm not yelling at her about what it really means to HELP MOMMY, dammit!) that kind of stuff.

so i said (queue angels and god-light): that parenting is like farming. a whole lotta waking up at dark thirty. a whole lotta manual labor. sweat of your brow, that kinda thing. a whole lotta watching over and tending to. and then there are the bountiful rewards. the beauty of fresh and perfect. the moments when you know why the dark thirty - or just accept it. the times when the sound of whining and bodies hitting the floor in frustration are far, far, far away from your thoughts. when you child laughs and your heart sings.

so keep on farming and changing the world one hug at a time.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

one too many

even though i don't actually feel like i'm dying, i keep thinking that i feel like i'm dying.

today has been the last in a long line of difficult days spanning the last - oh, three or four years. they've not been all in a row mind you. or else i would most definitely be ashes by now. just this was a hard one.

i feel heavy inside like someone snuck up and attached rocks to the shoe laces on my heart. but why? why?

to be honest it's just one of those days where parenting feels like a continuous uphill struggle. one of those days with two, possibly eight too many meltdowns and tantrums. one too many times when i wondered 'how the hell are we going to pay for that?' one too many times when i felt like i'd suddenly been plopped in the middle of no-trucking-where and left with two screaming toddlers attached to my legs. one too many moments where i felt like one person cannot possibly be needed this (GD) much.

i wish i had the answers. i wish i knew everything. i wish parenting could be downloaded into my head. i wish i had enough to pay for the things i think i need. like four new tires and a mechanic to look at that awful bumping sound the car makes when you veer left.

jesus this is hard. but just today. just today.

for me, this has been one hard day too many.


i am gonna pull up my bootstraps (or laces or whatever the hell - maybe shoe buckles, or really stick that velcro closure, that would be the easiest option) and do it all again tomorrow. with vim and vigor. with grace and love. with the knowledge that i have everything i need to do right now. and that that is all i really need.

deep breath in.

and out.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

hi, i'm mary and these are my baby jesuses

i have to preface my story by saying that i believe that jesus was some special kinda guy. to say the least. i really think his whole message was "look, this (pointing at himself) is YOU! no, really." that is to say, we are all jesus. we all have that potential. so in that light, i have taken to calling my children - my son in particular - baby jesus.

the reason i do that is because he is actually very difficult to not kill sometimes. i've called him a great many names, but i think that calling him 'baby jesus' will really help me to preserve his well being.

i mean... you know those times when your two year old son .. (hmm? what's that? you don't have a two year old son? my bad. (god it must be nice to have your sanity though, isn't it)).. ehem, as i was saying: you know thos times when MY two year old son grabs every single soliatary thing he can reach (including bottles, remotes, dish brushes, KNIVES, that kinda thing) and runs off and then throws it down on the floor? or when he pulls his sister's hair and grabs the toys she's TRYING to play with just to aggravate her (oh yes, he's calcuating). or when he just says mommy about 367,295,235 times a minute. OR the times when he knocks you - i mean ME - squarely in the eye with his knee or head? well, it's times like those - especially two or three of those random incidents in a row or all together at the same time - that just, well, let's say cause me to have "unhappy" thoughts about my son.

however since the very inspired idea, i have found that i can look below the evilness and see that there really is a pure love underneath it all. i'm sorry, did i say "evilness"? ha ha. silly me, i mean to say "very developmentally appropriate toddler behavior". slip of the fingers there.

though, i'm not sure how helpful it is when i call him 'crazy jesus' under my breath...